Dr. James Wright is President Emeritus and Eleazar Wheelock Professor of History at Dartmouth College. Wright served as Dartmouth president from 1998 until 2009. A member of the Dartmouth faculty since 1969, he served as Dean of the Faculty from 1989-97 and as Provost from 1997-98. Wright received a bachelor's degree from Wisconsin State University-Platteville and a masters and doctoral degree in history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. An American historian, he is the author or editor of six books. His most recent book, Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America’s Wars and Those Who Fought Them was released in May of 2012, and was selected by the New York Times Book Review as an “Editors’ Choice” recommendation.
Professor Wright, who served in the Marine Corps, has worked with veterans since 2005, when he began visiting wounded Marines in Washington, D.C. hospitals. In over thirty visits since then, he has encouraged the injured servicemen and women to continue their education. Wright was involved in the planning for the Yellow Ribbon Program that provided for private institutions to be included in the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and he worked with the American Council on Education (ACE) to create a new educational counseling program for wounded U.S. veterans.
For his work in education and with veterans, Wright was featured as “Person of the Week” on ABC World News, recognized as New Englander of the Year by the New England Council, and received the Council of College and Military Educators “President’s Award” in 2008. In 2009 the Veterans of Foreign Wars recognized him with the Commander-in-Chief’s Gold Medal of Merit Award. The New England Board of Higher Education presented him with the Eleanor M. McMahon Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010 for his leadership on behalf of higher education and the advancement of educational opportunity.
He has spoken at many veterans’ and other programs, including at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington on Veterans Day 2009. He lectured at the University of California, Berkeley as the Jefferson Lecturer and at Yonsei University and Seoul National University in Korea. He has spoken throughout the U.S. regarding veterans and the ways in which Americans have mobilized for their wars from the Revolution to today, with recommendations regarding the current veterans.
The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and Harvard University’s Charles Warren Fellowship, Dr. Wright has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He serves on the Board of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, and is a member of the New Hampshire Civics Education Task Force. He is on the Campaign Leadership Committee for the Education Center at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.